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Here's what your team needs to qualify to the FIBA AmeriCup 2022
MIAMI (United States) - As we head into the final window of the FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers set to take place from February 17 to February 22, only two countries, Brazil and the United States, clinched their spot in AmeriCup 2022.
That leaves 14 national teams for the remaining 10 spots, setting up for what should be an intriguing and competitive six days in Puerto Rico and Colombia.
So how can each of those countries book a spot in the 12-team event set to take place in 2022? We will give you the key to each squad’s success.
They can qualify out of Group A if they maintain the balance that makes them so unpredictable for opponents.
Argentina (3-1) has just one player who is averaging in double figures over the course of the first two windows. That shows not only the incredible flexibility they have offensively, but how well they distribute the ball and play as a true team.
The Argentine side simply needs a win or a Chile or Colombia loss to secure their ticket, and it would be a major surprise if that didn’t come to fruition.
They can qualify out of Group A if Heissler Guillent and Nestor Colmenares lead the team with Michael Carrera out.
That won’t be an easy task, though, as Carrera averaged the fourth-most points in qualifying and was shooting a ridiculous 54 percent from the field. Guillent – the team’s second-leading scorer – and Colmenares will need to take on the responsibility to make up for the nearly 19 points per game that Venezuela (3-1) will be missing.
They can qualify out of Group A if they can find the energy and effort to play like they did in the second half of their game vs. Argentina.
Chile (1-3) doesn’t have the talent and notoriety of other basketball clubs in this event, but they play extremely hard and bring a level of toughness not seen by most. They only lost to Argentina by six – outscoring them in the fourth quarter – and nine to Venezuela, so the potential to do damage is there.
They can qualify out of Group A if they can take advantage of playing in their home country.
While there won’t be any fans in attendance and Colombia currently sits in fourth place in the group at 1-3, the benefit of not having to travel internationally during these COVID-19 times provides a slight upper hand.
They can qualify out of Group B if they capitalize on a favorable schedule.
After already facing Brazil twice, Uruguay (2-2) now faces a Paraguay team they romped by 20 back in November and a Panama roster they beat by seven. Uruguay can seal the deal by beginning the final window with a win on Sunday.
They can qualify out of Group B if they can catch Brazil sleeping in the first game of their final window.
Brazil is currently 4-0 and has already booked a spot in the 2022 event, so they don’t have much to play for in the grand scheme of things. Meanwhile, Panama sits at 2-2 and will put matters into their own hands if they can find one victory in the final two outings.
They can qualify out of Group B if they can somehow run the table – and get a lot of help.
At 0-4, everything needs to go Paraguay’s way in order to beat out Uruguay and Panama for one of the two final spots in the group. A schedule vs. a hungry Uruguay and an undefeated Brazil certainly doesn’t help their case.
They can qualify out of Group C if their "Big Four" can keep opponents flustered.
The Dominican Republic currently sits at the top of the standings with a 3-1 record and a prime roster to continue their success. Eloy Vargas, Gelvis Solano, Angel Delgado and Victor Liz are the top players, and each brings a different skill to the table.
Vargas is the leading scorer for the club at 17.5 points per game, Delgado brings inside play and rebounding, Solano is an elite playmaker and Liz is an efficient talent that can score in bunches. When those four are clicking on all cylinders, DR is very difficult to contain.
They can qualifying out of Group C if they can shoot the 3 at a high level previously seen in their impressive win over Cuba.
In their second matchup vs. the Cuban side, the squad only cracked 22% from behind the arc before falling by 27. In the following game, the Virgin Islands (1-2) put up a fight in the second half – and actually won the fourth quarter – vs. the Dominican Republic, but they shot the ball so poorly in the first half that the deficit was too much to overcome.
They can qualify out of Group C if they can find chemistry on the fly after a failure to compete in the last window.
With 2013 NBA draft No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett on the roster, Canada (1-1) has some experience and talent that can overmatch the rest of the group. But with just two games under their belt and none since February 2020, the Canadian side will have to find their rhythm in a hurry.
They can qualify out of Group D if they can create turnovers into easy points.
The roster relies heavily on defensive energy – especially from their guards -- and hot shooting from the perimeter on offense.
While Mexico (2-2) will be overmatched vs. the United States, a win vs. Napier, Barea & Co. will get them a berth. That means guards Paul Stoll and Jose Estrada will have to bring their A-game on defense.
They can qualify out of Group D if Shabazz Napier and J.J. Barea go off.
The duo has a combined 22 years of NBA experience as Napier has jumped around with six different teams and Barea has played 11 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Between Napier’s clutch gene and scoring ability and Barea’s skills on both ends of the floor, PR (1-3) has a completely different dimension to their roster in this window.
They can qualify out of Group D if they can re-find the magic they had in game two vs. Mexico.
In that second outing, the Bahamas played elite defense, holding the opposing side to just 59 points on 32% shooting. They forced 18 turnovers and limited Mexico to just 28 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
While the Bahamas (1-3) faces significant tasks vs. the United States and a much improved Puerto Rico roster, they have shown flashes of greatness that gives them an outside shot of keeping things close vs. PR.